Mass Humanities makes Project Grants to support public humanities projects that benefit and engage Massachusetts residents. Project formats include but are not limited to:
- Humanities-based civic conversations
- Public lectures, conferences, and panel discussions
- Discussion events and series (reading-and-discussion, film-and-discussion, etc.)
- Museum exhibitions and related programming
- Pre- and post-performance discussions for theatrical productions
- Oral history projects
- Walking tours
- Audio projects
- Film pre-production and distribution projects
- Interactive websites that function as public humanities programs
- Content-based professional development workshops for teachers
Please be assured that, even if a public humanities project does not fit neatly into any of the above categories, it may still be still eligible for a Project Grant. Regardless of format, an eligible project must be firmly grounded in the humanities and involve collaboration with at least one Humanities Scholar. We provide lists of what we do and do not fund for easy reference.
Additionally, Mass Humanities prioritizes projects that engage those whose contact with humanities programming is limited (see our Engaging New Audiences for the Humanities initiative) and projects that respond to our current theme, Negotiating the Social Contract.
All information needed to apply for and carry out a Project Grant project is available—in full detail—in the Project Grant Guidelines (a PDF that you may read online or download). What follows here are the essentials.
Essentials for Applicants
- All nonprofit and government organizations that serve Massachusetts residents are eligible to apply.
- Organizations may request a maximum of $7,500.
- Organizations proposing projects that meet the Engaging New Audiences and/or the Negotiating the Social Contract incentives may request a maximum of $15,000.
- Filmmakers proposing film projects—with a sponsoring nonprofit organization—may request a maximum of $15,000.
- Organizations must demonstrate a cash cost-share that equals or exceeds 10 percent of the MH funds requested, and the total cost-share (cash and in-kind) must equal or exceed the MH funds requested.
- The Project Director organizes the project and completes online reporting.
- The Project Treasurer keeps track of project income and expenses, pays bills, and is responsible for financial documentation. The Project Director and Project Treasurer must be unrelated individuals.
- The Project Scholar works in a relevant humanities discipline and serves in an advisory role.
Additional Requirements & Recommendations
- Project Grant projects are generally completed within one year.
- Mass Humanities has publicity requirements for all grant recipients.
- Final reports and evaluations will include questions about volunteer contributions, so be sure to keep track. Grant recipients will receive forms and directions for reporting.
- To get a sense of some of the specific projects we have supported, you may browse through the Past Grants Awarded section.
- Film Projects: Mass Humanities makes a limited number of grants each year to support films that explore humanities themes and in which humanities scholars are actively involved. Our goals in doing so are: to support the involvement of humanities scholars in film projects, to support the viability of documentaries that explore humanities questions and issues, and to facilitate the distribution and use of such films. As a result, we support specific aspects of film projects, most of which are not what is usually seen as film “production.”
- Oral History Projects: Please see the additional guidelines and requirements.
Project Grant Applications
- Project Grant applications are accepted three times each year at these deadlines, and full instructions for applying are on Applying for a Grant page.
- Question lists for both the LOI (inquiry form) and application are available in the Project Grant Guidelines.
- Along with providing information about the sponsoring organization, the project personnel, and the proposed project itself, the Project Grant application requires the following materials (which are explained in detail in the Project Grant Guidelines and in the application itself):
- A budget request form
- A statement by the Project Scholar
- Resumes/CVs of major project personnel
- A listing of events (if applicable)
- Letters of commitment/support (if applicable)
- Sample materials (for film projects)
- A list of existing resources (if applicable)
- Exhibition materials (if applicable)
- An application contract form